New eCommerce curve-focused fashion business Curve Project officially launched in Australia in July.
Founded by retail veteran Jason Fahey, the brand houses five private labels that range in size from 10-22.
Speaking to Ragtrader Fahey details the origin of the business and brands, future goals for the business and recent successes.
From idea to launch, how long was the business in the works for?
From a time perspective it took eight to nine months of background work from when I first started the idea to when we launched.
That was including everything from creating the brand, developing the handwriting for the brand, everything from the swing tickets to the logos, to how we were going shoot the brand, where we were going to manufacture and so on and then obviously doing our range development.
I felt like there was a gap in the market and I felt really passionate about the fact that curvy girls weren’t really getting served what they needed and there wasn’t really a lot of competition.
I also felt like there was a real gap as far as there was the mature retailers or youth retailers and no one was doing the in-between age group for the curvy girl. I also thought from a price-point perspective, it was either the discount players or it was what is not really affordable for the average person.
So I wanted to create something that was focused on curves, I wanted it to be mainstream aspirational and that was important to me.
Five brands on the site – do you plan to expand that offering?
Each of the five brands have been developed for the Curve Project in mind.
So when I say that nine months ago I started this process, nine months ago I developed each of those brands as labels for the Curve Project, literally from scratch.
So each of the brands reflects different people and different personalities of people that I know and their different lifestyles.
The whole idea was to give the curvy girls an option for each stage of her lifestyle so, ‘what can I wear to work? What can I wear on the weekend? What do I wear out on Saturday night?’
So that’s where each of the brands developed from: ‘how do we provide the curvy customer with options for her lifestyle?’
Are there plans to bring in external brands?
Currently we’re talking to with other existing curvy brands within the marketplace and we’ll also look at developing in-house brands depending on the needs of the customer and the customer reaction to each of the brands.
The Curve Project is currently trading as an online-only business, are there plans to break into the bricks-and-mortar market?
Retail has been tough for the last few years and I’ve experienced that with the different brands that I’ve worked with.
But one of my really respected bosses that I’ve had in the past has always said to me, ‘in retail Jason you get what you deserve. So if you’re giving the customer what she wants, then you’ll be successful,’ so I’ve always worked by that principle.
As a small business we’re trying to break into a heavily populated market, but also a discount-driven market as well and that’s a challenge and that’s one of the reasons we started online only – online is growing quickly and it’s also the way of the future.
However, I’ve spent 30 years in bricks-and-mortar retail, so for me, I’m passionate about bricks-and-mortar so the future goal will be to potentially turn one or more of these brands into a stand-alone bricks-and-mortar retailer.
Time will tell and that’s going to be based on the customer demand – we’ve only been trading for a couple of months and we can clearly see which of the brands the customers are loving and which brands that maybe she’s not loving as much.
But recently we’ve launched all five brands onto The Iconic.
The Iconic is a very successful online marketplace and so through doing that, that’s giving us a lot of brand exposure a lot of awareness and driving traffic to those brands and that’s been hugely successful for us.